Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Dad today!  He is the finest, most wonderful man and I love him so very much!  87 years young today!
Our mission president, President Berrett and his wife were in Sri Lanka for the weekend.  They had interviews with the elders but we were still in Kandy.  They left for Kandy as we got home!  So we had them over for lunch on Monday before they headed back to India.  We talked to the kids first and that was really great!  We had a very nice visit with the Berretts and had a wonderful lunch with them.  President Berrett is a master teacher and very smart.  Sister Berrett is so loving and kind.  It was fun sharing stories and just having a nice, enjoyable afternoon.  We went to the church in the evening to meet a few people to put the gifts together for our District Relief Society activity coming up on Saturday.  We were giving the sisters the pocket size Books of Mormon.  We wrapped them up and put bows on them and made them look so pretty!  It was great visiting with Sister Primali and Sister Ann and getting everything together!!  We had District Meeting on Tuesday followed by our seminary classes.  We took the elders with us to Sherines so they could teach of our latest baptisms!  Really had a great visit and lesson.  We then headed to Wattala for the next lessons.  It was a really fun night!  We practiced dancing with the girls and Steve learned about video games!  They are always so eager to hear the lessons and we had a really great discussion tonight!  Darshini spoils us with a yummy dinner each week.  Just a really great day!  Steve went with the elders on Wednesday morning and I got some paperwork and billing done!  We headed to Inoka's and had a great visit there!  She is just the sweetest gal!  It is great seeing Naveen doing so well and wanting to learn the gospel so much.  They are making big decisions in their lives and praying and reading their scriptures....doing the things that will help them do the right thing for their family.  It is so wonderful watching them grow and feel the Spirit.  We hurried home for our visit with Shanika and her kids.  We made dinner for them and the elders.  It turned out so nice.  They were very grateful and happy and we enjoyed the visit so much.  The elders taught Joel and Sherami helped them!  She is done with her class soon so we hope she will be able to come to church.  She really wants to and still wants to serve a mission!  The next day, we headed south to visit Sister Gnana.  Her father recently passed away at the age of 97.  She had been taking care of him.  They had his body there in her home.  Several of the neighbors were there helping and visiting.  It was so good to see her.  Her aunt was sitting there just crying and moaning and wanted to touch the body.  The neighbors were trying to soothe her and keep her sitting near by.  Sister Gnana was happy and I think relieved.  It had been very hard work for her to take care of him.  She is such a tiny little thing.  Steve really likes her husband, Brother Jayawardina.  He was recently baptized!  He wanted to get us some more fruit.  He climbed the coconut tree and got us oranges (that are not orange at all...they are green!) and other fruits.  It was very nice doing all that while we were there at her home for the viewing.  We ran a bunch of errands after....getting ready some more for the Relief Society activity!!  But I found everything that I needed so I felt ready to go!  I had piano classes followed by our English class.  Had a good turnout and a fun lesson.  I always take the ladies in another room and practice with them.  I go to the Young Womens room where there are lots of posters and signs about the gospel!  Everyone always reads them and asks about just never know!!  Had a nice dinner at Dolce Italia!  They spoil us when we go there!  We came home with beautiful big tomatoes and italian bread!  Friday I taught piano classes and we had our final dance practice!  It turned out great!  These gals are really great and we have a good time!  Then it was off to Negombo for me.  Steve went visiting with the elders all evening and really enjoyed that.  Sisters Primali, Sonali and Ann rode with me with Kumar...our trusty taxi driver!  We stopped at Arpico in Negombo to order balloons and some of the food we needed for the next day.  Sister Harshi was at the church waiting for us when we got there.  We started right in getting everything ready for the Relief Society Birthday party we were having the next day.  We set chairs up, set tables up, even cleaned the toilets, swept and mopped the floors....everything we could think of to make it a great outing for the sisters in the District.  We didn't get back until just before 9!  Steve came home even later than that!  President Anton came over to get some money and ended up having some fruit and rolls!  Then the big day arrived for the party!  Sister Primali asked if Steve would help with the kids in the primary.  So he went early with me.  We picked up Sister Ann and we were off.  We had enough time to finish decorating and have everything ready for the sisters to arrive!  Kandy had hired a bus, Colombo hired a bus and Chilaw hired a van to get everyone there!  I think we ended up with about 90 sisters!  It was wonderful seeing all of them together.  We had Pres Kolitha welcome everyone and bear his testimony.  We had a short video, we had a sewing demonstration, we had a talk on Family Preparedness.  We had a RS quiz for each of the branches.  We had some tablecloths made for the branches for their RS rooms which we gave them.  We then had the talent portion of the party!  Each branch plus Chilaw had 15 minutes to do some talents!  It was so fun hearing Sri Lanka songs and seeing Sri Lanka dances!  Negombo did a funny dance and song with a bunch of their sisters!  Then it was our turn to do the dance we have been practicing for so long!  Shake It Off....Taylor Swift....."the English dance" as they called it!  We ended up with 9 ladies and young women doing the dance with us!  It was really fun!  I was definitely the oldest person out there!  We then had our surprise for the sisters.....we had decorated the overflow part of the chapel with birthday signs and tables and a big birthday cake!  They kept saying....Finally, we can say we had something like the American's!  I guess usually they give the sisters the rice packets and send them out the door!  We had each sister sit at the table with the other sisters that had birthdays in their same month.  We had balloons and decorations all around the room.  We had a really big cake also.  We began by singing Happy Birthday to the Relief Society.  We then followed Sri Lankan custom by having the first piece of cake shared by the Presidencies in each branch and by us!  Then we served the rice packets.  Americans should try this.  No plates, no utensils....just a box and your fingers!  During the lunch, some ladies sang some Sri Lanka tunes.  It was really great!  Then we cleared away the tables and had some dancing!  Sri Lankans love to dance!  I was thinking about getting one of the men in our ward to teach some Latin dances and also thinking about doing some line dancing.....but the more I thought about it, it just seemed like we should put on music and let everyone do their thing.  The elders helped me with the music.  I was hoping it would turn out.  And it did!  It was so fun seeing these ladies just dance to their own beat and really enjoy themselves! Not everyone danced but most everyone stuck around and watched and clapped and sang to the was a lot of fun!  The sisters really enjoyed the day I think!  I had a lot of fun meeting new people and being able to see and visit with the people I already knew!  We had to clean up of course and get everything put back for church tomorrow!  The elders wanted us to meet their landlord after the party so we drove to their apartment.  He was very nice...and his wife.  It was a nice visit.  We then headed back to Colombo!  I was pretty tired!  Old people don't usually dance for a few hours in a day anymore!!  I am sure it was good for me though.  Very happy with the day!  I love working with Primali and Harshi!  They are wonderful and inspired women!  Sunday was church!  Great sacrament meeting as usual.  I helped with the piano in primary today.  Nuwani was working with the kids and does such a great job.  We headed to the Hagobiens for lunch today with the elders.  However, Radi was a little confused and thought we were coming for dinner so she had nothing prepared.  But she wanted to do something so I visited with her while her and her mother prepared a fabulous meal!  She is such a great cook!  It was worth waiting for!  We didn't get home until after 8 tonight!  Wonderful week!  We are going to India next weekend and are looking forward to that!  The church is true and we are loving our wonderful adventure in Sri Lanka!

Shanika and Sherami!


The whole gang for dinner!

Sister Gnana at her fathers viewing

Sister Gnana's home for her fathers viewing

Once again, we got the wonderful coconuts from her husband!

District Relief Society activity set up with Sister Ann

District Relief Society Presidency before the party!

Enjoying some dancing!

Brother Nishanti and his family from visiting from Dubai

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